Behavior Therapy and Exposure Strategies

  • Holly Hazlett-Stevens
Part of the Series in Anxiety and Related Disorders book series (SARD)

The ultimate aim for most, if not all, psychotherapy is effective behavior change. Adaptive shifts in affect and cognition allow clients to try new behaviors. Clients soon become willing to approach previously avoided situations and to eliminate subtle safety behaviors associated with inflated perceptions of threat. Many clients naturally exhibit some adaptive behavior change as the interventions described in the previous chapters take effect. Nevertheless, therapists should systematically address any anxiety-promoting behavior, as even the most subtle forms of avoidance can maintain anxious disturbance.

Given the diffuse nature of the anxiety seen in GAD, clients may be completely unaware of their avoidance behavior. Unlike specific phobias with circumscribed feared stimuli, avoidance behavior associated with GAD can be difficult for clinicians to identify. Active avoidance—behavior executed to reduce anxiety—appears in the form of various subtle worry safety behaviors. Craske and...


Avoidance Behavior Passive Avoidance Safety Behavior Response Prevention Physical Safety 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly Hazlett-Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology/298University of Nevada, RenoRenoUSA

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